SCC upholds restrictions on media’s work
Assuming ADR is
confidential is dangerous
of court hearings
New anti-spam law
carries heavy penalties
CRISTIN SCHMITZ OTTAWA
THE NEW TREND
In companion cases which
affect the media’s coverage of
trials nationwide, Canada’s top
court has rejected a Charter bid
by the media to throw off constraints on how they operate
within Quebec court houses.
Justice Marie Deschamps’ 9-0
decisions in two appeals brought
by CBC and other news outlets,
affirm the constitutionality of
provincial and court rules
adopted in 2005 which forbid
the broadcasting of audio recordings of Quebec Superior Court
hearings, and which limit the
media to certain designated
spots, in Quebec courthouses’
hallways and other areas outside
courtrooms, where they may
film/video, take photos, and conduct interviews.
Justice Deschamps’ judgments on Jan. 28 also hold, for
the first time, that the media’s
access to court exhibits which
have been entered into evidence,
including video recordings, is
protected by the Charter’s s. 2(b)
guarantee of freedom of expression, which includes freedom of
Therefore in the absence of
statutory provisions on how
exhibits are to be treated, “it is up
Montreal’s Jean François Jobin, counsel for the Attorney General of Quebec, calls the media rulings “a good compromise.”
WASSIM NJEIM FOR THE LAWYERS WEEKLY
Promoting legal project
management is the
latest trend firms are
using to lure clients
to the trial judge to decide” how
exhibits can be used, Justice Deschamps stipulated.
The issue came before the
court in the context of a request
to broadcast an accused’s precharge video statement made to
police which was entered into
evidence at trial.
Counsel told The Lawyers
Weekly the decisions will find
application across the country,
although they disagreed over
what impact they will have.
Jean-François Jobin, co-coun-
sel with Marie-Ève Mayer and
Dominique A. Jobin for the co-
respondent Attorney General of
Quebec, opined that the deci-
sions reflect a balanced approach
to the intertwined principles of
open courts, freedom of the
press, trial fairness, and the
proper administration of justice.
“I would say that the result
would be the same, for the reasons given by Justice Deschamps,” Jobin predicted.
But that opinion was vigorously disputed by Barry Landy of
Montreal’s Spiegel Sohmer who,
tion of cameras-in-trial-courts
“was not pleaded, it just wasn’t
See CBC Page 3
THE LONG ROAD
The road to developing
BC law society to help struggling legal aid system find money
JEREMY HAINSWORTH VANCOUVER
Enhancing access to legal services issues will be a top priority for
the Law Society of B.C. in the coming year, new president Gavin
Hume told benchers at their Jan.
28 monthly meeting.
And, he said, part of that means
finding funding for the province’s
beleaguered legal aid system.
To that end, Hume said the
society is suggesting that funds
flowing from settlements or seiz-
ures under the Class Proceedings
Act, the Unclaimed Property Act
and the Civil Forfeiture Act be
directed toward legal aid.
“It means that most ministries
can expect a reduction in their
budgets in the coming year,” he
The funding suggestion was
put to the benchers by the society’s
Access to Legal Services Advisory
Committee, saying the society
See LSBC Page 8
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